Be A Bad Girl … and other advice from 90-year-old women!

OK, not exactly the truth.

One of them is only 87.

My dear friend Anne Gallagher hosts her annual “My Favorite Ladies’ Luncheon,” and I wouldn’t let even having tickets to The Oprah Show stand in my way of going to this lunch!

Anne Gallagher is a Woman on Fire in my life!
Anne Gallagher is a beloved Woman on Fire in my life!

Anne’s lunches are a Women on Fire bonanza of inspiration, strategies and support, and I am so honored to be included.

This year I sat next to Olga Hirschhorn, 90, and across from Trudy Taylor, who is about to turn 88.

Olga is the rags-to-riches philanthropist whose late husband started The Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.   She is so down-to-earth, funny and full of life that I find myself wanting to hug her with every word she utters.

She’s mother to three sons who are now 70, 68 and 65.  Trudy, once an aspiring opera singer, had five kids in six years and today they are in their late 50s and early 60s.

Olga’s partied with Picasso and danced with presidents and kings.

For her 90th birthday last April, she invited a room full of only men to attend her party!

“When you turn 80, start cultivating a lot of men in your life so when you turn 90, they’ll want to come to your birthday party!” she advised me, laughing.

Olga continues to celebrate 90 as Trudy (in pink) sings
Olga continues to celebrate 90 as Trudy (in pink) sings. I love these women!

In this year of rolling celebrations for Olga’s 90 years, Anne surprised her with yet another birthday cake — her 28th cake since her actual birthday in April — while Trudy sang “a Happy Birthday song you might not know.”

In perfect pitch and in the loveliest voice, she sang the most charming birthday song I indeed had never heard before.

That was because Trudy’s son — the singer-songwriter James Taylor — had made it up to sing to her!

And, what advice about life does almost 88-year-old Trudy have to offer?  With a big, mischievous smile and a twinkle in her blue, blue eyes, she told me to: “Be a bad girl!”

Do you have similar wise women in your life who delight and encourage you?  Role models for living you hope to live up to?  I’d love to hear about them!

Summer joy on Martha’s Vineyard


Summer is vibrantly under way here on Martha’s Vineyard.
Normally, the population on our island is about 15,000 but in the summer the crowds swell with the heat (along with everything else!) to more than 100,000.

I love it.
Planes and ferries bring visitors to the Vineyard I may not have normally seen or known.

This morning I met Kim DeYoung, a dynamic coach and the brilliant founder of an organization called MetroMom at Black Dog for breakfast. We have travelled in the same information marketing circles and knew many of the same phenomenal women – Rochelle Togo-Figa, Carolyn Ellis, Jane Button, Ali Brown, Lisa Crisalle, Alexis Martin Neely — but we had never met. She was vacationing for the 10th year in a row on Martha’s Vineyard and I was honored she called and we could meet.

Many of you know how strongly I feel that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Kim and I chatted about the powerful force of “mompreneurs” — women who start businesses from their homes to earn additional income and provide a better quality of life and balance for their families.

And, how exciting it is that so many groups and organizations are sprouting to serve and inspire this dynamic population of women.

Part of the joy for me in meeting women like Kim DeYoung is that she embodies Women on Fire Aspiration #20: “I believe there is plenty in this world for me.”

Rather than fearing others who are doing similar work, she has embraced other groups serving “mompreneurs” and is growing her organization with joint ventures and collaborations.

I couldn’t find statistics on “mompreneurs” but there are more than 83 million mothers in the United States alone. What a force! And, joining forces with others strengthens what is possible. So, congratulations to the Kim DeYoungs of this world and the many others I know supporting “mompreneurs” including Shannon Davis of BeyondMotherhood who matches stay-at-home Moms with part-time work.

You are true Women on Fire in the way you embrace and empower women. I am proud to know and refer you!